Author: Arjan Singh
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195654021
The leopard, the most beautiful of the Great Cats, today faces extinction in many countries. In this book, celebrated Indian wildlife expert Arjan Singh attempts an extraordinary experiment: to rear a leopard cub at his home in northern Uttar Pradesh, and return it to the jungle..In this touching and exciting account of his time with the leopards, Arjan Singh teaches first Prince and then the twins Juliette and Harriet the ways of the forest. Sharing his whole life with them, building them 'machans'( tree platforms), walking the jungle tracks in their company, encouraging them to hunt, teaching them to disembowel their kills, he discovers the habits and character of the leopard as no person has before. His first great success occurs when Prince at last reverts to the Jungle, fully rehabilitated.There are some setbacks along the way. Prince and Harriet each kill one human child, and the author's local critics are vociferous in their opposition. Yet Arjan Singh is supported by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.Not only does the author succeed in returning a hand-reared predator to the forest, he also refutes the theory that leopards are treacherous and unpredictable. On the contrary, he demonstrates the 'essential tranquility' of the leopard's temperament, and shows that it is only the animal's intelligence, combined with its capacity for effective retaliation when cornered which has given it a bad name.